Soup is On!

Mini Meatball Soup

Here is a kids’ favourite, but I like to serve it to grown ups too-it’s really fun! The little meatballs can be made ahead and frozen to add to this soup or to pasta sauce for another night.

8 oz (250 g) lean ground veal, beef, pork, chicken or turkey
1/3 cup (75 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped fresh Italian parsley
Pinch each salt and pepper
6 cups (1.5 L) chicken stock
1/4 cup (50 mL) Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup (125 mL) pastina or small soup pasta

In bowl, using hands combine veal, cheese, chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Roll mounded teaspoons of meat mixture into balls; set onto large plate.

Meanwhile, in pot bring stock and parsley leaves to boil. Add pastina and boil gently for 8 minutes. Add meatballs to stock using slotted spoon or ladle and simmer for about 7 minutes or until pastina is tender and meatballs are no longer pink inside.

Makes 4 servings.

Tip: You can also add 2 cups (500 mL) shredded spinach leaves to cook in with meat for some added greens.

Tip: If you want to add these to a pasta sauce, gently place them into the sauce and boil gently for about 15 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink inside.

Tip: If your ground meat was previously frozen and you want to freeze the meatballs be sure to cook them first in a 350 F (180 C) oven for about 8 minutes. Or in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat for about 10 minutes shaking pan gently or until no longer pink inside. Let cool completely and freeze in airtight container for up to 1 month.

Southwest Chicken and Bean Soup

This has the flavour of a chicken chili but a little lighter served up as a soup. 

1 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp each paprika and ground cumin
6 cups chicken stock 
1 can (19 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
12 oz boneless chicken, finely chopped
1 can (19 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp lime juice

In soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion, garlic, chili powder, paprika and cumin for about 5 minutes or until softened.

Add chicken stock, tomatoes, red and green peppers and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil and add chicken and beans. Cook stirring, for about 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Add coriander and lime juice.

Makes 4 servings.

Turkey Option: You can use boneless turkey for the chicken.

Shrimp Option: You can use chopped raw shrimp or baby shrimp for the chicken.

No Knead Bread

So simple you will want to make it often! This thick crusted and soft interior bread is perfect for any soup you serve up or just with a smear of butter it will be perfect.

1 1/2 cups warm water 
1 tsp (5 mL) traditional active dry yeast
3 cups (750 mL) all purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL) salt

In a large bowl, combine water and yeast and let stand for about 10 minutes or until frothy. Stir in flour and salt until a shaggy dough forms.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours (overnight).   

Heat oven to 450°F (232 F).  When oven temperature has been achieved, place a clay pot with a lid in the oven and heat for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, dump dough onto a heavily floured surface and gently shape into a ball (dough will be sticky be sure to keep your hands well floured).  

Place dough on a piece of parchment paper and cover dough with plastic wrap and let stand while the pot is heating. 

Remove hot pot from the oven with heavy oven mitts and place parchment paper and bread inside the pot.  Cover pot with lid and return to oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until crust is deep golden brown.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack.

Makes 1 round loaf.


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